Shared Cultural Heritage projects 2016-2022

The embassy in Australia financially supports many projects under the Shared Cultural Heritage programme, focusing on Maritime, Military, Migrant and Mercantile heritage. We share examples of projects. 

Projects 2022

Mirin: Echoes of Early Encounters with the Mirning

Partners: Mirin  Community of  South Australia | Australian Catholic University | Museum of South Australia | Wereld Museum

Over the southern summer of 1627 the Dutch VOC ship 't Gulden Zeepaert traversed the southern waters and coast of the continent that would later become known as ‘Australia’, mapping and naming 't Land van Pieter Nuyts. While the ships’ log is said to have been lost, the memory and mirin, or echoes, of the voyage continue.

The Mirin: Echoes of Early Encounters with the Mirning project brings together the First Nations Mirning people who hold the stories of this and other early encounters with the records and insights from historians in Australia and archivists in the Netherlands.

There are very few studies which equally draw on Aboriginal oral histories and European accounts to provide mutual insights into the encounters. The collaboration between Elders, historians and archivists offers a rare dialogue and re-consideration of these early cultural encounters, their reverberations and opportunities for cross-cultural exploration and discovery.

The project includes both academic research and meeting on-Country with the Elders, followed by on-line knowledge exchange workshops with Dutch partners including the Wereld Museum in the Netherlands. As the Elders’ stories are embodied and presented, the project is being followed by videographers. This will provide new records of stories that can be developed into a documentary and for exhibition, as well as a Community archive.

Dutch Australian Shared History | Digitization Project

Partners: National Archives of Australia | Huygen Institute, Netherlands

This Dutch Australian Shared History project is a joint three-year enterprise between the National Archives of Australia and the Nationaal Archiefs and the Huygen Institute (Netherlands). The collaboration identifies, digitizes, and shares Dutch migration and policy records. At this time the agency has identified two hundred and ten records.

Wooden Boat History in Australia

Partners: Dutch Australia Foundation, Western Australia | Curators from the Rijksmuseum

This exhibition on the theme of Wooden Boat History was presented at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in 2022 as part of the Community projects. Held at the Shipwrecks Gallery in Fremantle, the exhibition reflected on the building history of the replica of the VOC ship the Duyfken in the celebration of its 25th Anniversary.

A second part of the project included a series of live streamed podcasts available on demand and distributed across the globe. Some of the subjects included,The Endeavour Replica presented by John Longley and 'The future of shipbuilding in Western Australia' by John Rothwell.

Koning Willem 11 Shipwreck Archaeological Survey

Partners: Australian Maritime Museum (Sydney) | Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

The Australian National Maritime Museum is surveying, locating and archaeologically investigating the shipwreck of Koning Willem 11, the eight-hundred-ton Dutch barque lost near Robe, South Australia on 30 June 1987. The project seeks to document and identify cultural materials recovered from the barque at the time of its loss.

Dutch Dornier Engine Conservation Treatment

Partners: Broome Historical Society and Museum | Cultural Heritage Agency, Netherlands

The Broome Historical Society and Museum holds a unique collection of artefacts that encompass archaeological evidence of the aerial attack of Japanese air raid in 1942 when 68 Dutch men, women and children lost their lives.

A Dutch Dornier engine retrieved from the wreck is a significant holding.  The engine has experienced considerable degradation. The funding from the International Heritage Co-operations will allow metal conservation and sponge blast operations to be carried to ensure the preservation of this asset.

The World Ended on Mango Street
The documentary The World Ended on Mango Street is about a long-kept secret of the filmmaker's deceased grandmother who survived a Japanese concentration camp during WWII. It's expected to premiere in 2020.
Project partner | Thomas Watson and Jean Baptiste Breliere

Revisiting the 1727 Zeewijk shipwreck
In 2020 a small team of diving archaeologists will go back to access the shipwreck site of the Zeewijk in Western Australia to complete a study originally conducted as part of the 'Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties' collaborative research project (2013–2019). The main Zeewijk shipwreck site is accessible only for a few days in the Australian summer months.
Project partners | Flinders University | Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Western Australian Museum


Balayi Festival celebrates 400 years Houtman Abrolhos
On 28 and 29 July 2019, Western Australia marked 400 years since the first European set foot on the Houtman Abrolhos with the Balayi Festival in Geraldton.
Project partners | BCMHA - Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association Inc. | Rijksmuseum | Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands | Dutch photographer Geert Snoeijer

Visualising unique 17th century Batavia silverware
The University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum will partner up with the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum and the Dutch National Archives to create 3D scans to visualise and analyse the unique collection of 17th century Amsterdam silverware that was found in the shipwreck of the Dutch East India Company's (VOC) flagship ‘Batavia’.
Project partners | University of Western Australia | Western Australian Museum | University of Amsterdam | Rijksmuseum | Dutch National Archives.

Shared maritime heritage work visit to the Netherlands
As part of DutchCulture's international visitors programme heritage, Kevin Jones, director of the South Australian Maritime Museum and Paul Hundley, director of the Silentworld Foundation, visited the Netherlands from April 26 until May 3, to strengthen and enhance international cultural collaboration in the heritage field and contribute to the establishment of a sustainable international network.
Project partners | DutchCulture | South Australian Maritime Museum | SilenWorld Foundation


The influence of Dutch migrants on Australian football
Adam Muyt, a second-generation Dutch-Australian writer, is piecing together the history of Dutch involvement in Australian football.
To be published in 2021.
Project partners | Adam Muyt with Roberto Pennino

Preserving migrant histories for future generations
Five video portraits of Dutch-Australian migrants and their families on the Destination Australia website. The video's are a result of a 4-year partnership between the National Archives of Australia and the Nationaal Archief in the Netherlands to scope our the collections and identify records related to the Dutch-Australian relationship, focusing on shared military, migrant, maritime and mercantile heritage.
Project partners |  The National Archives of Australia | Nationaal Archief | Huygen ING
Read more >

Boost for maritime heritage projects
In March, the renowned Dutch maritime archaeologist Martijn Manders visited Australia to strengthen cooperation in the field of maritime heritage.
Project partners |

Dirk Hartog Plate’s grand tour of Down Under
The Dirk Hartog Plate, the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil, has travelled to Australia and is now safely back in its resting place.
Project partners |


Ship Shapes – archaeology goes Dutch
Maritime archaeologists from Flinders will use 3D scanning to map in fine detail some of the last remaining 17th and 18th century scale model ships in the Netherlands.

Digital archive of shipwreck journals
Journals and documents relating to Dutch East India Company ships and shipwrecks are now online. The journals so far available are written by the Zeewijk's skipper Jan Steijns and second mate Adriaen van de Graeff and the Emeloort's skipper Aucke Pieter Jonck.

Dutch-themed Wooden Boat Festival successful
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival (AWBF) took place from 10 to 13 February. There were many Dutch-themed activities throughout the 2017 edition of the festival.


Digital Classroom / Dirk Hartog 1616–2016
To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Dirk Hartog on the West Australian coast in 1616, the National Library of Australia created an online resource, for year 10 students, aligned to the Australian Curriculum. It focuses on Dutch–Australian cooperation in World War II, Dutch experiences in Australia and the contribution that Dutch migrants have made to Australia’s success as a nation.
Project partner | The National Library of Australia

The Dirk Hartog plate at the Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World exhibition
Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World was developed by the Western Australian Museum in partnership with the British Museum to mark the 400th anniversary of the landing of Dirk Hartog in Western Australia. One of the highlights in display was the Dirk Hartog Dish (Rijksmuseum, 1616), the  Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog’s flattened pewter dish, which is the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil.
Project partners | Western Australian Museum | Rijksmuseum

Illuminating Dirk Hartog
The ANMM in Darling Harbour, Sydney, created a roof projection titled "A chance encounter", to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch mariner Dirk Hartog's landing on the west coast of Australia in the VOC ship Eendracht.
Project partner | The Australian National Maritime Museum

Dirk Hartog in Western Australia (October 1616)
The Dirk Hartog booklet was edited by maritime archeologist Dr. Wendy van Duivenvoorde, produced by the Western Australian Museum and published by the Embassy. It is dedicated to the seafarers of the 17th century who sailed into Australian waters. Its launch, on 25 October 2016, coincided with the third and final lecture in the Dirk Hartog lecture series by Dr. Van Duivenvoorde, initiated by the Embassy.
Find this publication in our Digital Library

Jan Vennik: the Dutchman at Eureka. By Yvon Davis
Jan Vennik: the Dutchman at Eureka by former SBS Radio broadcaster Yvon Davis tells the story of a Dutchman who was present in the vicinity of the Eureka Stockade on 3 December 1854, before he was arrested and charged with Treason with 12 others.
Project partner | Yvon Davis



DutchTV online - Maritime and migrant cultural heritage episodes
In 2014 and 2015 DutchTV online in Melbourne produced a number of episodes focused on Dutch-Australian shared cultural heritage. The episodes aired during season 6 and included interviews with the Maza sisters and various children of Dutch first-generation migrants and a visit to the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre. The series will be retained on the website and Dutch TV’s own YouTube Channel
Project partner | DutchTV/Carole Overmaat